Educational Articles

Characteristics

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a genetic mutation affecting many breeds that causes developmental defects in the eye that can lead to vision deficits or blindness. This defect can be diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist between 6 and 8 weeks of age by visualizing spots of choroidal hypoplasia or a colobomas . It can be associated with microphthalmia or enophthalmia. It can lead to retinal detachment and blindness. Although laser repair of partial retinal detachments can be attempted if detected in early stages, there is generally no treatment for CEA. Vision varies depending on the extent of the lesions and some dogs will become blind. Prevention requires not breeding animals that carry the mutation and this can be achieved through genetic testing of breeding dogs.

  • Color dilution alopecia is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects dogs with dilute-colored coats causing hair loss. Some dogs will also be affected by secondary bacterial infections so topical management and pruritus treatments may be needed to improve the dog's comfort. Affected dogs and their relatives should not be bred.

  • This handout discusses excessive drooling (hyper-salivation) in dogs. There can be many causes for this particular complaint, and a short discussion of the more common reasons is included. Further diagnostic and treatment options are outlined.

  • Cats are not completely color blind as they can see yellow and blue as well as shades of grey. Their eye structure does allow them to see better in dim light compared to people. Near-sightedness is common among cats.

  • The simple answer to a complicated, much researched question is, yes! Dogs do recognize our facial expressions which makes them wonderful family members.

  • Knowing how and what your dog can see will help you make good choices for her. For example, you should keep your dog’s color range in mind when shopping for toys. She will enjoy yellow and blue toys more than red ones. And you’ll understand why she gets distracted during a game of fetch as she hones in on a bird flying 50 yards away. You’ll also know that to get her complete attention, you should stand directly in front of her where her range of visual acuity is greatest. And the next time you are lucky enough to be graced with a rainbow in the sky, rest assured that your dog can enjoy it, too. She will not see ALL the colors of the rainbow, but she may see a bit of yellow and blue. And that will be just fine for her!

  • You’ve probably heard lots of funny cat anecdotes; about how you don’t own them…they own YOU; how they feel superior to everyone, especially dogs; that they expect to be treated like royalty. If you are considering a feline acquisition, first consider this: lots of those remarks are true! This handout explains the other factors to consider in selecting the cat most likely to choose your family, too.

  • Dogs can be amazing family members and greatly enrich our lives! Adding a dog to the family is also a serious commitment, and research before choosing a dog will help set the family and the dog up for success. This handout goes over some factors to consider when selecting a dog.

  • Genetic (DNA) testing is readily available, whether you are using it for fun to find out what breeds your pet is made up of or if you are looking into possible medical conditions. DNA samples can be collected either from a cheek swab or a blood draw. Knowing which breeds your pet is made up of can help you and your veterinarian prevent or prepare for health issues in the future.

  • Despite the huge variety in coat color, there are only two basic pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). All different variations in color are created by these two pigments, which are both forms of melanin. This handout discusses the details of genetics and coat color selection.

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